World Famous Sex Blogger's Day Job? Research Scientist.

By Brett Israel | November 17, 2009 10:25 am

red-light-webBelle de Jour, the best-selling author who penned books about her life as a call girl, revealed her true identity over the weekend. Her name is Brooke Magnanti.

Dr. Brooke Magnanti to be exact. It turns out she’s a cancer researcher who began turning tricks while in grad school.

Via the London Times:

Magnanti is a respected specialist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology in a hospital research group in Bristol. Six years ago, in the final stages of her PhD thesis, she ran out of money and turned to prostitution through a London escort agency, charging £300 an hour. Already an experienced science blogger, she began writing about her experiences in a web diary that was adapted into books and a television drama starring Billie Piper.

It’s not like she didn’t try to find honest work. She told the Times that at one point during her double life she had a job as a computer programmer, “but I kept up with my other work because it was so much more enjoyable.”

So what do you think readers? Is this a commentary on how poorly grad students, and scientists in general, are compensated?

More reactions over at The Great Beyond.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Is It “Science” to Show Cadavers Having Sex?
Discoblog: Does the Taste of Semen Have Evolutionary Roots?
Discoblog: When Technology Gets Creepy: Giving Birth in Second Life

Image: flickr / keepwaddling1

MORE ABOUT: cancer, sex
  • dpc

    I can’t speak to everyone’s situation. Undoubtedly, earning a PhD can take years and is a huge financial burden. Furthermore, conducting graduate work in an expensive metro area adds to the financial pressure. Graduate students should consider this. I did it with two kids and it added a ton of stress.

    However, the case outlined here is an interesting story of one very interesting individual. Not a case of funding graduate students. Grad school is not lucrative and jobs following this are often not high paying. Grad students need to understand this going in.

    I am not passing moral judgment here–I see sex workers as doing a useful job (at least sometimes) and they should not be discriminated against later in their careers for these choices. I respect her for honestly stating that the sex work was much more enjoyable

  • c-rock

    Pretty sure it’s a commentary on how much people will pay for an escort. £300 an hour? Sign me up.

  • Brian Too

    Weird. One wonders why she came out about it now. It would not seem to help with her career as a researcher and could well damage it.

  • Maddie Aanenson

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